I have been with Spine-Health since 2006.. It was 2008 when Spine-Health first migrated to the new CMS system DRUPAL. During that period of time, both as a member and as their moderator, I have seen many different situations. Some heart-warming, some-good and those not-so-good.
Right now, I am more troubled by the recent set of members, the posts and arguments that have resulted. When you have site with over 20,000 International Members, there are bound to be situations when people disagree. That is normal and we have all taken that in stride.
Today, there seems to be ‘trouble’ in terms of the treatment of younger members. We have had countless number of posts and messages telling us that Spine-Health is doing an injustice to its younger members and that we take sides with our long term members.
This does sadden me, because we have always been a site and a set of members that welcome everyone, regardless of age. So often we have posted that spinal problems and pain never discriminate when it comes to age. In fact that is one of the reasons we are open to registered members off all ages.
I can not tell you how many younger folks that we have helped here. And that is not just from our view point, but from those that are young and hurting.
The past several years, there has been tougher regulations regarding pain medications. 6 years ago, the dosage and doctor prescribing those medications was hardly touched upon. There is no difference in the pain levels people had back then to where they are today. Why is that? One thing that is certain, there is so much more comments from members telling others that doctors are not doing their job and are not prescribing pain medications that the patient wants.
Personally, I have had many rough and tough years since 1978. I have been on some relatively high dosages of narcotics. I am fortunate that between my doctors, therapists and my hard work, that those dosages have come down to a maintenance level. Prescriptions have never been a problem. So why does it seem that there is such a problem today?
Doctor shopping, pharmacy hopping, Internet illegal purchases have all made this so difficult.
But that does not mean it’s the young that are doing that, so often it’s the long term patient that is trying to go around the system.
I feel for younger folks. They do have things harder when it comes to doctor evaluations and prescription of medications. But on the other hand, the younger folks have so much more to look forward to. When you are young, you can bounce back from problems much easier than when you are older. Recovery from spinal surgery is much better when you are young. From a medical point of view, our younger members are in a better place than our older members. BUT, emotionally, it’s a different situation. When you are young and faced with spinal problems, the one thing that is always on your mind, “Do I have to live this way forever”, “My life as I knew it is over” I cant argue with those feelings, but can only say that over time, with your HARD work, nothing is over.
All of this Young vs Old has caused a split in how people are using Spine-Health. This site is not setup to be a soapbox for anyone to preach about the woes of their lives. Instead, it has always been a site to help all members. That’s where I find it ironic. Today, many accuse us of not listening to the younger folks, not caring about them…. Think for a second. We have been here a long time and have helped so many people…. So why now are things different? They are not.
I don’t expect everyone to get along.. That would be unreasonable. But I do expect people to treat other people with respect. That is one of our forum rules. Just in the past several days, I have read so many posts that are violations and that they would call for banning. I am not turning away from them, I am not looking blind to them, I am just trying to allow people to work things out amongst one another.
I could easily go in and ‘FIX’ those problem areas and people. Cause YES, there are a few that seem to want to cause the problem. That’s easy to see. Just take a look at some of the recent posts. I need not say any more.
We could rule with an iron fist here, making sure that everyone adheres to the rules. I don’t want to see that happen, the owners of this private site don’t want to see that happen. We are sensitive and flexible when it comes to what is being posted. Don’t create the situation in which we need to come down with force.
I am no asking for everyone to get along. That would be unreasonable. But what I am insisting upon is for everyone to respect the other persons views. Just because they don’t see things your way, doesn’t mean they are wrong.
I LOVE Spine-Health. I eat and breathe Spine-Health. It provided me a lifeline when I needed it the most. I only want to continue to thrown that lifeline to EVERYONE that needs it.
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences